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An ideal comparison might show run time versus cost using UPS devices with similar features, but competing feature sets makes that type of comparison impossible. Features often cost more than upsized batteries, so run time is only a single component of today’s multi-faceted test.
Lead-acid batteries are super-reliable and super-heavy, so it makes sense that our runtime chart is a reflection of unit weight. But how do these compare in power protection?
Opti-UPS provided the only UPS with double-conversion topology, which means that all of the unit's output power is filtered through the batteries first. That technique produces superior protection against surges and brown-outs, but at higher cost. The results of line-interactive units are a reflection of their default sensitivity settings, where user-adjustable increased sensitivity could reduce battery life.
Converting 100% of line-input power to battery power, then converting it back to line-output power is a somewhat inefficient process. The double-conversion unit from Opti-UPS thus falls to the bottom of the power consumption chart, which is probably a small sacrifice in exchange for the unit's improved protection.
CyberPower and APC use thermally-controlled fans, never getting hot enough to kick up to high speed even when placed under the extreme loads of an enthusiast-class PC. Either of these units is sufficiently quiet for use in an office environment, where they’d normally be placed at least twice the standard one-meter listening distance from the user.
Tripp Lite’s noise resembles that of a white-noise generator, which is soothing to some people. We’d still recommend placing it at least four meters from your chair.
The Opti-UPS DS1500B’s cooling fan runs at full-speed, full time, just like Tripp Lite's. Its higher noise likely reflects the higher heat generated by its more protective double-conversion design, yet the pitch of its noise is such that we’d reserve this unit for a server closet.
CyberPower exhibits amazing power efficiency, consuming around 1% more energy than the unprotected system. Opti-UPS’ double-conversion design requires more power to provide more protection.